GitHub Open Sources “Boxen,” A One-Command Tool To Ready Newly Unboxed Macs For Developers

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GitHub has open-sourced “Boxen,” an automated way to manage newly unboxed Macs for developers.

The one-command automation tool promises that a developer can be hacking on GitHub within 30 minutes.

The tool follows a trend to offer developer-ready laptops. Dell has developed a laptop built specifically for developers called Project Sputnik. The laptop is now commercially available.

GitHub posted on its blog today that Boxen started nearly a year ago as a project called “The Setup,” which they describe as a pipe dream to let anyone at GitHub run GitHub.com on their development machine with a single command. That pipe dream is now giving new developers an added treat when unboxing their Macs (oh the joy).

Boxen is a framework for managing a Mac. The GitHub team created a  standard library of Puppet modules. It manages everything from “running MySQL to installing Minecraft.” You can get started here.

I see this a lot. Startups need their own tools to do the work they do. So they create their own. Boxen is a great example of this trend. It is designed with the GitHub developer in mind. According to the blog, it automatically updates itself every run and opens and closes GitHub issues as problems arise and get fixed.

In a post on its blog, GitHub said:

With Boxen, we treat our development environments with the same care we give production: we test our code and rely on Continuous Integration to deploy changes.

Pretty cool trend unfolding as more Internet-scale businesses invent the software and increasingly the hardware to get work done that they can’t do with off the shelf products.